Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | Paris Attacks | War on Terrorism | dana milbank | obama | president o-bummer

Wash. Post's Dana Milbank Tags Obama as 'President O-Bummer'

Image: Wash. Post's Dana Milbank Tags Obama as 'President O-Bummer'
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By    |   Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 07:58 AM

President Barack Obama's stoic, scholarly demeanor during his appearance with French leader Francois Hollande has netted him a new nickname from Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank: "President O-bummer."

"Maybe you can motivate people when you sound so discouraging," Milbank wrote Tuesday. "But it's hard."

While Hollande was speaking of "cowardly murderers" and vowed to hunt down ISIS leaders and a "relentless determination to fight terrorism everywhere and anywhere," Obama described the process as "hard, methodical work" that won't happen "just because we suddenly take a few more airstrikes," notes Milbank.

"Tough talk won't defeat terrorists — but it will rally a nation," said Milbank. "It's no mere coincidence that the unpopular Hollande's support has increased during his forceful response to the attacks, while Obama's poll numbers are down."

But while Milbank complained about Obama's more measured response to the issues, fellow Washington Post columnist David Ignatius on Wednesday's "Morning Joe" program on MSNBC said that he had a different reaction entirely to Obama's appearance, calling it "entirely appropriate."

"He talked in a calm way where he tried to speak to the country in a period of crisis," said Ignatius.

"It's appropriate for those countries hit to come here with a lot of passion. I didn't find it inappropriate for Obama to be more Obama-like and more and more detached . . . I think President Obama is trying to speak to those communities in a reassuring way appropriately because that's what our law enforcement, FBI and intelligence need in this period."

And there really was little difference in the two national leaders' strategies, Milbank conceded in his column, but still, Hollande was upbeat "while Obama was discouraging and lawyerly."  Hollande evoked the spirit of ex-President George W. Bush "transplanted into the body of a short, pudgy, bespectacled French socialist with wrinkled suit-pants."

Milbank, who was at the press conference, said Obama was "still and contained," but Hollande stole the show with his sweeping gestures, bringing "Mediterranean heat" to the event while Obama was "Lake Michigan-cool."

Obama didn't lack emotion, but he still played down and and remained calm, while Hollande had a greater sense of urgency, including when they discussed Turkey shooting down a Russian military plane.

"This underscores the importance of us making sure that we move this political track forward," Obama said, while Hollande said "the only purpose is to fight against terrorism" and the Islamic State.

Also, both men had the same policy on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but "President O-bummer" was much more discouraging than Hollande.

"Syria has broken down," he said. "And it is going to be a difficult, long, methodical process to bring back together various factions within Syria to maintain a Syrian state."

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President Barack Obama's stoic, scholarly demeanor during his appearance with French leader Francois Hollande has netted him a new nickname from Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank: "President O-bummer."
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2015-58-25
Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 07:58 AM
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